Music

In late 2016, Kanye West and Kid Cudi both sought out help. Cudi checked into rehab for "depression and suicidal urges" in the middle of his album rollout for Passion, Pain and Demon Slayin'.

Sometimes your dreams are bigger than originally imagined. After a successful crowdfunding effort, Cumulus was one day from pressing its debut album in 2013 when the band got an email from Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla. Walla not only wanted to work with the Seattle band, but also sign it to his label Trans- Records (also home to Now, Now).

If you think of Willie Nelson as a lot of people do, you might make the same mistake I did on the way up the stairs of his tour bus, Honeysuckle Rose. I imagined we were going to visit a mythical creature or an immortal shaman; in reality, it was better than that.

The dreamy retro-rock sound of The Shacks, led by guitarist and songwriter Max Shrager and lead vocalist Shannon Wise, was a great fit at WGBH's Fraser Performance Studio.

In between performing 11 songs, the band reflected on the roots of the band's sound. "There's a certain way we think about our music that allows it to be really intimate, and that's an important part of who we are as a band," Shrager said. "We try to think of our music as an extension of our lives, and maybe that's a cliché, but I think it's something that's actually lost in the world these days."

The history of television and film portrayals of people of color is pretty abysmal. Either we are not present, just in the background and stereotyped, or we're cast as maids, gardeners, servants or the comic buffoon. In my lifetime, I have never been exposed consistently to characters who either look like me, act like me or reflect my reality of those around me.

Notice I said consistently. There have been exceptions, but it seems we've had to wait patiently for portrayals that we recognize as being significant to our lives.

Eight-year-old Yoyoka Soma's favorite drummer is John Bonham, so for her entry into the 2018 Hit Like A Girl drum contest, she covered Bonham's part on Led Zeppelin's "Good Times Bad Times."

The video, which features Soma playing along to the 1969 hit, earned her a spot in the international competition's final round. She didn't take home the gold, but she did win our hearts.

The Branford Marsalis Quartet had been rampaging at the Village Vanguard for over an hour — in full burnout mode, practically rattling the pictures on the walls — when its leader swerved unexpectedly into a softer mode. Channeling his best Ben Webster warble on the tenor saxophone, Branford closed the set with a songbook ballad, "Sweet Lorraine." For those in the room who recognized its gladsome melody, the implicit dedication rang clear.

Danny Kirwan, the guitarist who joined Fleetwood Mac at age 18 and played on five of the band's albums, died Friday in London at age 68. His death was announced by Mick Fleetwood on the group's Facebook page; no cause was given.

Discovering new songs and albums — and the musicians who make them — is one of our favorite things. And if you're a music lover, chances are that you share this passion. So, tell us: Who are your favorite new artists of the year so far? We'll define a "new" artist as someone who released their debut full-length in 2018. (If they haven't yet released a full album, their first EP or single can count.)

We'll share the top 10 vote-getters — and our own personal favorites — on next week's All Songs Considered podcast.

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